President Jacob Zuma will lead this year’s wreath-laying ceremony to honour Oliver Reginald Tambo, the late ANC president, in Wattville, Ekurhuleni on Thursday.
The event will take place at the Tamboville cemetery which was declared a National Heritage Site in 2012.
“It is a great honour to host President Jacob Zuma at such an auspicious event. “His presence will elevate the wreath laying ceremony and it also accords former president Oliver Tambo the respect he deserves for the role he played in driving the agenda of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa,” Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said.
October is Tambo’s birthday month, and the city of Ekurhuleni annually hosts a commemoration of the life and times of OR as he was affectionately known. Tambo was the longest serving president of the ANC and is widely credited for keeping the movement alive in exile during its years of banning by the apartheid government.
The pinnacle of the month-long programmes which include student debates, a choral music festival and an exhibition, is the wreath laying ceremony on Tambo’s birthday, October 27.
Tambo, who is a free-person of Ekurhuleni along with his wife Dr Adelaide Tambo and Chris Hani, would have turned 99 this year, had he still been alive. He is being celebrated under the theme: Celebrating the life, times and legacy of OR Tambo, 99 years and counting towards the centenary.
The city of Ekurhuleni is already planning a programme to commemorate Tambo’s centenary. The wreath-laying ceremony is expected to draw high level dignitaries from national and the provincial government, Mbizana, OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo municipalities.